Dayton Daily News from Dayton, Ohio on April 17, 1998 · 84
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Dayton Daily News from Dayton, Ohio · 84

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Dayton, Ohio
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Friday, April 17, 1998
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84
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UTi I 1 1 My rill Hide creator seo!33 now fcijui with Godar Point addition 0) : c o Stan Checketts is one weird guy. He admits he is obsessed with "throwing people high in the air." When his kids were young, he would toss them around to give them a thrill. Now he tosses grown-ups, and they love it. Checketts is a self-professed thrill seeker who designs amusement rides and often climbs to the top of j ' them, just to see what it feels like. And he has come up with a big one for Cedar Point. The 300-foot-high Power Tower will point an inviting fmger toward the amusement park in Sandusky when it opens for the sea-son May 10. , - . , Power Tower is the most spectacular new attraction in Ohio, as amusement parks launch another season of fun. Paramount's Kings Island : .. reopens Saturday, and Americana in Middletown will resume operation May 23. , Power Tower should add some luster to Cedar Point's reputation as "America's Roller Coast". The park on Lake Erie has 12 coasters, the world's largest collection. . And new accolades have arrived: Andy Pargh names Cedar Point the best roller-coaster thrill park in America in his book, The Gadget Guru's Guide to the Best. Checketts, who is president of S&S Sports Power Inc., says Power Tower will outperform any coaster ever built. . "Power Tower is the first ride of its kind and the tallest ride of its kind on the planet," he boasted from his office in Logan, Utah. His biggest project to date, Power Tower uses compressed air to blast riders up and down its four steel tow- ers, and the riders sit with their backs to the towers. Two riders are blasted u: and two are blasted dov. all in three seconds i; 50mph. , ., Power Tower com-bines two of Checketts' other designs, the Space Shot and the Turbo Drop. There are 36 Space Shots in parks around the world. One, dub'.. the Big Shot, sits atop the Stratos- ' phere tower in Las Vegas. We rode that one last year. It's a spine jolter, sort of a reverse bungee jump. . "With the Space Shot, you receive a bit of negative G at the top," Check etts said. "The Turbo Drop puts about point-7 negative G and blasts the car down toward the ground so you come out of your seat and your hair goes up on end and you start ' screaming." And people actually enjoy this kin : of terror? "It's crazy, but people want it, more and more," he said. "My job is . blast literally." Checketts, 57, grew up on a farm in Utah. After 37 years of constructing cabinets and tables, he began design ing trampolines, children's rides and bungee towers. "It just takes an old farmer that doesn't have a lot of smarts to come up with a really fun idea," he said,' His idea of fun is climbing to the top of his towers. He was spotted recently atop the Power Tower at Cedar Point. "They asked a guy one time why In.-climbed Mount Everest," Checketts recalled. "And he said, 'Because it's there.' I climb it because it's there." CONTACT Tom Hopkins at 225-2235 or by e-mail at tomhopkinscoxohio.com Kings Island aims at kids with 'Rugrats', 'Scooby Doo' attraction The Rugrats are making a new home at Paramount's Kings Island. When the park opens Saturday, fans of the animated TV characters can meet and greet Tommy Pickles, his pal Chuckie and his spoiled cousin Angelica and play along with their antics in a new show, Nicktoons Block Party, at the Slime Bowl. As sharp-eyed viewers may have guessed, Paramount owns both the amusement park in Mason and the Nickelodeon cable network that features Rugrats, which offers a baby's below-the-knees view of the world. "It's the most popular series on cable television," park spokeswoman Susan McDonald said. "We'll still have Scooby and Fred and the whole gang walking around the park, but we'll also have Angelica, Tommy and Chuckie." Kids can have lunch with the Rugrats, join a scavenger hunt and play other games during a special Rugrats Weekend April 25 and 26. Three new rides in Hanna-Barbera Land will beckon the kids as well. Scooby's Ghoster Coaster is being touted as "America's first suspended coaster for kids." The ride combines the elements of a hang glider and a traditional coaster. Also joining the fun in Hanna Barbera Land will be Yogi's Sky Tours, a monorail like helicopter ride, f:. and Atom Ant's Airways, which resembles a Ferris wheel. At Waterworks, people will be bodyboard surfing on the new Wipe-Out Beach, which simulates the surging wave action of the ocean. Braver folks might want to take a seat in the motion simulator, James Bond 007: A License to Thrill. The seats are synchronized to move with the big-screen action as Bond performs air, land and sea stunts while chasing international terrorists. The attraction will replace Days of Thunder on May 16. And you can test your mountain-climbing skills on The Edge, a 33-foot structure in Coney Mall. Among 10 new live shows will be the Paramount Theatre's Retro-ACTIVE, a music and dance revue featuring the hits of the '70s and '80s. The Hollywood Animal Show will offer interactive fun with our four-legged friends as they per-form stunts June 6 through July 5. ' sis- A I J K-X t - i '... ' V; ' I I. ! I i ' i - ' 1 "- - -.' ' ' ,tJ '-v rir; ""wi Jf iImmnhmA a. ... - - iniiHiinMinfryiL- nfo fr, iluwili i i ej . f " ir""1" Mi nim- im -r ' UK-pit o' A ;'. " v J I I I ,-" -r M 0 (i ll, I mum IK 7 A t in 1 jUKKv ItiW ' In V ) iuwm, is :i STAN CHECKETTS STANDS hi ATOP THE POWER TOWER THE NEW RIDE HE DESIGNED FOR CEDAR POINT AMUSEMENT PARK. !i3 I , . i' r . . "fit ncciputn cad mhiid 1 Jl , " j I POINT AMUSEMENT PARK. iMl j ,rf k M hrnn ' ill ? : ilL iLjJM' J ii - i i-:r ;?.?;:? nil hi : II?SL;I ?. ' ' ; h if.1: j i iff - ' inii to,?., u D in ill jvii I. "! 'jn: ' 1 ART1STSRENDERING OF THE f ' ! H U 5r . f ! , ; 4 ! , 11 NEWSCOOBHCHOSTER ,ifl5f'" ' HmI4 COASTER AT PARAMOUNTS U k -J f-4 I 1 4 KINGS ISLAND. 'f I I 9 Ii1 il l ' 7 ! ; ! i J,f "14 I! j I : '-:il .. i ll? f 4 ' J if !: , Paramount's Kings Island What' imw: The Rugrats, along with three new rides in Hanna-Barbera Land, bodyboard surfing on the Flow Rider at Waterworks and a new motion simulator, James Bond 007: A License to Thrill. Schedule: Open weekends ADril 18- 19 through May 16-17; daily May 23-Aug. 30 and selected weekends in September and October. Cott: $30.95 for ages 7-59; $16.95 for ages 3-6, 48 inches and shorter, and seniors. Kids 2 and younger free. From Dayton: Go south on Ohio 741 to Interstate 71 and follow signs to the park. Entrance is on east side of 1-71. Moro Info: Call (800) 2880808 or (513) 573-5700. The Beach What's new: An expanded lineup of entertainment, Including a June 18 concert by Bill Haley's Comets and a Dolphin Jet Ski Show in the Thunder Beach Wave Pool (three performances daily July 4-31); Jolly Mon' Shores, a 10,000-square-foot water play area featuring a ship-shaped pool and water slides; and The Siesta, a new seating area. Other fun stuff: More than 30 water slides and attractions. Schedule: Open May 16-17, daily May 22-Sept. 7, Sept. 12-13. Cost: $18.95; shorter than 48 inches $5.95; seniors $10.95; after 5 p.m. $7.95; parking $4. From Dayton: Go south on Ohio 741 to 1-71 at Mason. Entrance is on west side of 1-71. More Info: (800) 886-SWM (7886). Americana What's new: The Ferris Wheel and the Tempest. Other fun stuff: The Fabulous Wal-lendas return for a second season with high-wire performances, and three other live shows will be performed daily. There's an Olympic-size swim- , ming pool and children's water play area. Schedule: Open May 23-25, daily May 30-Aug. 30, Sept. 5-7. Cost: Adults $15.95; children 36-52 inches $13.95; seniors $13.95; after 4 p.m. $6.95. From Dayton: Go south on Interstate 75 to Exit 29 (Ohio 63), west to Ohio 4 and follow signs to park. More info: (800) 486-3070. Cedar Point What's new: Power Tower. Other fun stuff: A dozen coasters, a sand beach, live stage shows, an IMAX theater and a ride called Chaos that spins . you in three directions. Bring your own barf bag. Schedule: Open daily May 10-Sept. 7; weekends Sept. 12-13, Sept. 19-20, Sept. 25-27, Oct. 2-4 and Oct. 9-11. Cost: $31.95 if you're 54 inches or taller; $27.95 between 48 and 54 inches; $6.95 less than 48 inches; seniors $16.95. :,. From Dayton: Go north on 1-75 to U.S., 6 at Bowling Green, northeast on 6 to Sandusky and follow signs to park. More Info: (419) 627-2350. Geauga Lake What's new: Serial Thriller, a suspended looping coaster that cost the park a cool $10 million, the biggest single investment in its 110-year history. Other fun stuff: Hook's Lagoon, a five-story water complex; Mr. Hyde's Nasty Fall, a 13-story free-fall tower of terror; and Grizzly Run, a rapids raft ride. Schedule: Open May 9-10, May 15-16, daily May 22-Aug. 30 and selected weekends in September and October. Cost: $22.99 for those taller than 48 inches, $11.99 less than 48 inches, seniors $13.99, kids 2 and younger free. From Dayton: Go east on Interstate 70 to Interstate 270 west of Columbus, north to 1-71, north to Interstate 271 south of Cleveland, north to Interstate 90, east to Ohio 306 and follow signs to park. More Info: (216) 562-8303, Sea World What's new: All-Star Mutts, a trained dog show, the next step In Sea World's transition from a marine park to a full-service adventure park with thrill rides and other attractions. Other fun stuff: Pirates, a 4-D special-effects film starring Leslie Nielsen; Shamu World Focus, featuring killer whales; Dolphin Cove, where you can Interact with dolphins; and Shark Encounter, a , display of sharks, sawfishes, moray eels and reef fish. Schedule: Open May 16-17, daily May 23-Sept. 7, weekends through September. Cost: Adults $29.67; children 3-11 $21.47; kids younger than 3 free. . From Dayton: Go east on 1-70 to I-270 west of Columbus, north to 1-71, north to 1-271 south of Cleveland, north to Interstate 80, east to Ohio 306 and follow signs.to park. More Info: (800) 63-SHAMU (7-4268). Wyandot Lake What's new: Shark Attack, a wild water adventure slide that allows up to three people to ride on special inner-tubes together. There are six banked turns. Hang onl Other fun stuff: Christopher's Island, featuring a five-story, family-Interactive Discovery Treehouse, a replica of a 17th century pirate ship and a water playground. There's a Junior roller coaster and an antique carousel as well as live shows. Schedule: Open May 16-17, dally May 22-Aug. 30, Sept. 4 and 7. Cost: $16.99; children $13.99 less than 42 Inches; younger than 3 free. From Dayton: Go east on 1-70 to I-270 west of Columbus, north to Sawmill Road exit and follow signs to ' park adjacent to Columbus Zoo. More Info: (614) 889-9283.

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